Unlike a home, a car isn’t an investment and it will lose value every year. Of course, how much value your vehicles loses depends on the type of car you buy. Some brands and vehicle types retain their value better than others which means you can expect a higher resale value later when it’s time to trade it in or sell it. Non-luxury vehicles tend to retain value better than luxury vehicles for the obvious reason: most people who can afford luxury vehicles buy them new, not used.
In terms of non-luxury brands, Subaru vehicles hold their value better than others. Subaru has won many Best Resale Value Awards over the last decade including the 2015 Best Resale Value Award from Kelley Blue Book. If you do buy a luxury brand, Lexus is the best bet for retaining your resale value. Lexus tends to offer more features per dollar than other luxury brands and it’s been named the Best Luxury Brand for Resale by KBB five years running.
Planning to buy a new car in the near future? Here are 15 vehicles that will retain their resale value.
1. TOYOTA TACOMA
The Toyota Tacoma is the true resale value king: both Kelley Blue Book and NADA consistently rank it as one of the top three vehicles for resale of any vehicle type. The Toyota Tacoma midsize truck has an expected resale value of 73% of its original sticker price after 36 months and almost 62% at five years, according to Kelley Blue Book. NADA also ranks it as the number one vehicle for resale. In 2015, the Tacoma beat the number two ranked vehicle — the Jeep Wrangler — by 5% after three years and 1.5% after five years.
In 2015, Toyota won Edmunds.com’s Best Retained Value Award in the non-luxury division with a projected 52% residual value after five years. The 2015 Tacoma was named the best midsize truck for resale value by Edmunds.com and the latest model, which has been fully redesigned, is expected to maintain the same resale value as its predecessor.
2. JEEP WRANGLER
The compact Jeep Wrangler has been a classic since its introduction in 1987 and it’s one of the most recognizable vehicles in the world. The Jeep Wrangler has remained the most affordable and popular off-roading vehicle for almost thirty years. According to Kelley Blue Book, the Wrangler is projected to retain 68% of its value after 36 months and 55% after 5 years of ownership which makes it one of the top ten vehicles for value retention.
The Wrangler is consistently voted as a top choice for value retention: in 2014, Autobytel named it as one of the top 10 Vehicles with the Best Resale Value. In 2015, Vincentric also named the Jeep Wrangler as the Best Value in America for a Compact/Mid-Size SUV.
3. SUBARU WRX
Subaru is the leader in affordable vehicles with niche appeal and high resale values. In 2015, the brand was named the top non-luxury brand for resale by Kelley Blue Book. Among all vehicles, the Subaru WRX was named the 7th best for value retention, retaining more than 65% of its value after three years and almost 51% of its value after five years. The WRX retains its value better than any other compact sports car on the market, a secret that Subaru performance enthusiasts have known for years. The WRX was one of 15 vehicles to win the Best Resale Award in 2015: the Subaru WRX won among cars priced between $25,000 and $30,000.
Why is the Subaru WRX such a leader in value retention? This is because it’s the most affordable all-wheel-drive sports car available and it offers all-around value for your money with a well-equipped starting price of $26,295 in 2015.
4. HONDA FIT
The Honda Fit won the 2016 Best Resale Award for a Sub-Compact Car by Kelley Blue Book. The Honda Fit stands out not only for its resale value but also its practical design and fuel economy of 33 city/41 highway mpg. The Fit’s Magic Seat gives rear passengers more room than in many midsize sedans and it can practically turn into a moving van when the rear seats are folded down. The Fit received a Top Safety Pick in 2015 from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and it includes many features that you pay extra for with other brands such as the standard rearview camera.
Starting at just $16,500, the Honda Fit retains more than 67% of its value after 36 months and 49% after 60 months. Kiplinger’s also named the Fit as the Best New Car under $20,000 for resale value. The Honda Fit beat out the Toyota Yaris and the Scion iA.
5. LEXUS IS
Lexus consistently wins quality awards, customer surveys, and data analysis studies. Over the last few years, the brand has also dominated resale value awards. The Lexus IS offers excellent performance, unsurpassed quality, style, high-end features, and a reputation for owner satisfaction.
For the third year in a row, the IS was given the Best Resale Award by Kiplinger’s in 2015.
The Lexus IS retains 63% of its value after 3 years and 45% after five years. While this may not seem very impressive, it’s far ahead of other luxury brands, beating out the BMW 3-Series for resale value. The Lexus IS is also competing in the already crowded market of entry-level luxury sedans which makes its win that much more impressive.
6. SUBARU IMPREZA
The Subaru Impreza manages to beat out competitors like the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic with its excellent value retention. The Impreza is a big part of the reason Subaru claimed the Best Brand award in Kelley Blue Book’s 2016 Best Resale Value Awards. The Impreza is the most affordable all-wheel-drive vehicle on the market, a feature that comes standard and gives you a sense of confidence no matter the weather conditions.
Kelley Blue Book awards the Impreza with a Best Resale Award because it retains more than 57% of its value after 36 months and more than 43% after 5 years of ownership. With a starting price of about $19,000, the Impreza was rated the best in retention among all compact cars on the market.
7. LEXUS ES 300H
The Lexus ES 300h offers style and easy-of-use and it starts at just $42,000 — impressive for a hybrid. The Lexus Hybrid Drive gives this midsize sedan great drivability and a 40-mpg EPA combined fuel economy rating. New to 2016 is the optional Safety System+ driver assistance package and updated interior styling. U.S. News ranks the 2016 Lexus E3 number third among luxury hybrids and among the top 10 in upscale midsize cars.
Kelley Blue Book ranks the Lexus ES as the best hybrid/alternative energy car in terms of resale value. After three years, the ES is predicted to retain 55% of its original sticker price. The car will retain 39% of its value after five years.
8. PORSCHE PANAMERA
Thinking about a high-end luxury car? Nobody beats the Porsche Panamera when it comes to value retention. The Porsche Panamera promises performance and exclusivity with roomy rear seats and utility features that help it retain its value for years. The Panamera has a 13-model lineup ranging from the base 310-horsepower V6 model to the Turbo S model with a twin-turbo 4.8-liter V8 engine. Given its huge model lineup, the Panamera ranges from $78,000 to $200,000.
The Panamera’s value retention is impressive: after 3 years, it retains almost 51% of its value. It retains about 35% of its original sticker price after five years of ownership. The 2016 Porsche Panamera certainly earns its Best Resale Value Award for a High-End Luxury Car from Kelley Blue Book by beating out the Lexus LS 460 and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Autotrader also ranks it as one of the ten most valuable used luxury cars after the Audi R8 and the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
9. TOYOTA AVALON
Toyota is one of the best-rated auto brands in the United States for a reason: the manufacturer has a reputation for building quality, reliable cars that last for decades. The Toyota Avalon is a full-size sedan that comes standard with leather seating, rearview camera, push-button start, dual-zone climate control, and a touchscreen for its “infotainment” center. With a combined fuel economy rating of 40 mpg, the Avalon consistently rates well among consumers and experts.
With a starting price of $33,500, the Avalon promises great value retention and it’s received the 2016 Best Resale Value Award for a Full-Size Car by Kelley Blue Book. The Avalon retains 46% of its value after 3 years and more than 32% of its value after 5 years. The Avalon certainly knows how to stack up its awards: it’s also the 2015 SmartChoice Fuel Costs Winner, the 2015 IIHS Top Safety Pick, and it has an NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating.
10. CHEVROLET CAMARO SS
Want a combination of performance and value retention? No one beats the Chevrolet Camaro SS. The 2016 Camaro SS boasts an improved 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces 455 lb-ft of torque, a level of power usually reserved for supercars but available in the Camaro SS for just $37,000. The lighter chassis and suspension makes the new Camaro adept at corners with the ability to go from 0 to 60 mph in just 4 seconds.
The Chevrolet Camaro SS received Kelley Blue Book’s 2016 Best Resale Value Award for High-Performance Cars by retaining an amazing 61% of its value after 36 months and 49% of its value after 5 years. It blows the runner-up Fort Mustang GT out of the water: the Mustang GT retains just 45% of its value after 5 years.
11. LEXUS RX 450H
Hybrid SUVs are here to stay and they are now among the most popular eco-friendly vehicles on the road. While there aren’t many hybrid SUV/crossovers, the Lexus RX 450h does stand out for its bold exterior, high-end features, and track record of providing a great driving experience. These factors help make the Lexus RX 450h the best hybrid SUV/crossover for resale value, according to Kelley Blue Book.
The RX 450h wins the KBB Best Resale Value Award for a Hybrid SUV/crossover for the fifth year in a row with 60.5% resale value retention after 3 years. The RX 450h retains almost 45% of its value after five years. It beats out the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid which retains 42% of its value after five years.
12. HONDA ODYSSEY
Minivans aren’t known for their great fuel economy, but you can still get great value retention when you buy a Honda Odyssey. The Odyssey is consistently a top pick at Kiplinger’s for Best in Class minivan and it’s even one of Kiplinger’s greatest cars of the 21st century with excellent handling, a mini fridge, entertainment options, and spacious seats — everything you need for a road trip. While it won’t win any awards for fuel economy, the Odyssey does get 28 mph on the highway which is decent for a minivan.
The Odyssey shines when it comes to resale value. After 3 years, Kelley Blue Book predicts the 2016 Odyssey will retain 56% of its value. After 5 years, it will retain about 40% of its original sticker price of $42,900.
13. TOYOTA TUNDRA CREWMAX
The Toyota Tundra CrewMax is one of the most popular full-size trucks in the United States and you’re guaranteed great value retention whether you go with the 4.6-liter or 5.7-liter V8 engine. The Tundra CrewMax comes standard with a 5.5-foot bed, a rearview camera, and glass filters to keep out the heat. Most unique with the CrewMax is it comes with a blind-spot monitoring system and three-piece replacement bumper panels that make it less expensive to repair damage.
Both Kelley Blue Book and Kiplinger’s rated the Tundra as the top pick for value retention among all full-size pickup trucks. According to Kelley Blue Book, the Tundra retains an impressive 64% of its value after three years and almost 54% of its value after five years.
14. SUBARU LEGACY
The Subaru Legacy has made it to the top of Kelley Blue Book’s Best Resale Value Awards list two years running in the midsize sedan segment. The Legacy offers standard all-wheel-drive and a starting price of just $22,500 — less than a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry — with an impressive 36 mph fuel economy. It’s easy to see why the Subaru Legacy has the broad appeal necessary to retain its value for years to come.
After three years, KBB projects the 2016 Legacy will retain more than 54% of its original sticker price and more than 39% of its value after five years of ownership.
15. TESLA MODEL S
The Tesla Model S is in a class of its own. It’s more than the fast charging possible with Tesla supercharging stations or the electric propulsion system that helps the Model S retain its value: it’s also the company’s innovative approach to upgrading the car over its life with overnight downloads that allow owners to take advantage of new features like the recent semi-autonomous auto pilot function introduced in 2015. There’s also huge demand for the vehicle: demand for the Model S continues to outstrip supply, according to Tesla.
Kelley Blue Book has given the Tesla Model S the Best Resale Value Award for a Plug-in Vehicle in 2016. The Model S is projected to retain almost 48% of its value after three years and about 23% of its value after five years. By comparison, the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid will retain 20% of its value after 60 months.